For Immediate Release
Bill Wolfe (609) 397-4861; Kirsten Stade (202) 265-7337
Christie Shreds New Jersey Climate Change Programs
Kills Emission Reporting, Diverts Green Energy Fund & Defunds Climate Office
TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has taken a wrecking ball to the
state's touted Global Warming Response Act, according to Public
Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). In recent weeks, the
Christie administration has blocked required reporting from greenhouse
gas sources, diverted $300 million in Clean Energy Funds dedicated to
energy efficiency and proposed to zero out the state's Office of
Climate Change and Energy.
"New Jersey's Global Warming
Response Act is now a dead letter," stated New Jersey PEER Director
Bill Wolfe, referring to 2007 legislation regarded as the crowning
environmental achievement of the Corzine administration. "Whatever
progress on climate change we can expect will have to come from
Washington, because Trenton has gone AWOL."
mutual agreement of the ongoing Corzine and incoming Christie
administration, a proposed rule to require monitoring and reporting of
emissions of greenhouse gases was allowed to quietly die on January 20,
2010 - one year after it was first proposed. This emission monitoring
regime is a key mandate of the state's Global Warming Response Act.
Without monitoring and reporting, New Jersey cannot track emissions or
develop a regulatory program to meet the reduction milestones set forth
in the Act.
On October 30, 2009, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency adopted its first federal greenhouse gas monitoring
requirements. Compared to EPA rules, however, the New Jersey law (and
its now abandoned monitoring plan) is broader, covering more gases,
more emissions sources and with lower thresholds. Ironically, in its
public comments this fall, the state Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) urged the EPA to integrate more stringent state rules
into its proposal.
Sweeping executive orders imposing a
regulatory moratorium, cost-benefit analysis requirements, and a policy
of rolling back to minimum federal standards in the first weeks of the
Christie administration make it unlikely that any new plan for
greenhouse gas monitoring will ever emerge again from DEP. Several
other major environmental and public health policies, such as the
recently shelved drinking water standard for perchlorate, a chemical
used in rocket fuel, are apparently also destined for the scrap heap.
Christie anti-regulatory stance is compounded by diversions of $300
million in Clean Energy Funds dedicated to energy efficiency and
renewable energy programs. In addition, Governor Christie's proposed
budget for FY 2011, beginning this July, will eliminate funding for the
Office of Climate Change and Energy--the office responsible for
implementing the Global Warming Response Act--even diverting revenue
from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) emission credit
auctions to the General Fund.
"The current governor has
decided that investment in a clean energy future for New Jersey is a
luxury that we can no longer afford," added Wolfe. "In terms of public
health and welfare, New Jersey will soon start to resemble states like
Mississippi that can only provide minimal state services."
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Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) is a national alliance of local state and federal resource professionals. PEER's environmental work is solely directed by the needs of its members. As a consequence, we have the distinct honor of serving resource professionals who daily cast profiles in courage in cubicles across the country.